What are the chances of this?
Between tonight and next week three high-profile national conservatives will visit The Villages, a large Florida retirement community.
Former Arkansas governor and 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee (R) will sign books on Monday night and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck will host a rally on Saturday night. 2008 vice presidential nominee and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), who is also considered a potential 2012 candidate, will sign copies of her memoir next Tuesday.
Their visits, individually, should not come as a surprise. The area leans heavily Republican.
Here is more from MyFox Tampa Bay:
"The big three are coming in," said Rich Cole, who leads a local Republican club. "It should be interesting."
Monday morning, dozens of people lined up hours ahead of Huckabee's early evening appearance. Fans of the former governor, now a Fox News Channel host, were issued wristbands.
Cole said he expects a large turnout for Beck this weekend, and an even larger crowd to gather for Palin next week.
"I imagine it will be six to seven thousand people, she's just that popular," he said. "Especially here."
Why The Villages? Why now?
"They know they're not going to get any guff," said resident Greg Srtoddard. They come here, and they're well greeted because everyone loves them."
The Villages is GOP-friendly, to say the very least. Cole's GOP club is just one of four for Republicans; Republicans outnumber Democrats two to one; and this area voted squarely for McCain, not Obama in 2008.
Democrats say the GOP has a stranglehold here.
"I've never heard of a Democrat being invited here for a book signing or to stand on the square and give a speech," said Jack Young, a local democrat [sic]. "It's all Republican."
Both Huckabee and Palin are seen as potential challengers to Obama in 2012. Palin's previous visit, in September, drew tens of thousands of supporters.
That's not lost on locals.
"It may be kickoff party or a book signing, one never knows," Cole said with a laugh. "Maybe both!"